• From tree to textile, our bespoke pieces are created by hand and reflect 

    the heritage and natural beauty of Uganda.

    Wholesale Collection

    Our TOUCH collection offers a curated selection of bespoke pillows and floor runners. Each is designed with texture, form, and function in mind.

    Image, TOUCH Collection, contact us for inquiries.

    Bespoke Textile Design

    Trained as a textile artist and weaver, Lesli can create custom designs using indigenous fibers and techniques. She experiments at the intersection of fine art and design, exploring new materials and applications.

    Photo: Artisan group, Bukomansibmi, Uganda

    Residential and Hospitality

    Each textile is created by hand, traceable to an individual maker, place, and tradition. Our yardage can be translated into wall coverings, veneers, or anything you can envision.

    Dar Hamad Restaurant, Kuwait City, Kuwait

    Design and Product Collaboration

    ​We love collaborating and helping you achieve a new vision for your work using materials that are textured, beautiful, and based in nature.

    Image, Rachel Elise + Mekeka Designs

  • OUR TEXTILES

    Show off your projects, features, or clients in this section.

    BARKCLOTH

     

    Ugandan bark cloth, Lubugo, is a complex and beautiful material. The Buganda people of Uganda have been creating this cloth from trees for hundreds of years. It was originally used for clothing, bedding, around the home, and since has evolved to signify the identity of the Buganda, being worn by the Kabaka (king) for ceremonial occasions - this is why it has been referred to as a cloth for kings! It is a sustainable cloth (the tree grows it bark back year after year!) and many Ugandan artists and designers are using this in their contemporary practice.

    Our partners in Uganda ensure each cloth benefits the producer and the environment. They train new makers and are committed to replanting trees for future generations.

    We also love our naturally dyed BLACK bark cloth - sustainably sourced and dyed, and traceable to the maker!

    PLAITED PALM

     

    Plaited palm leaf has been a part of the textiles of Uganda for generations. Artisans hand-weave complex patterns in an array of designs. We work with individual weavers to create sheets of plaited palm sourced from the enkindukindu tree. Through a process of drying, splitting, dyeing, and weaving long bands of the palm, various surfaces and textures are created.

    WOVEN INDIGENOUS FIBERS

     

    The practice of weaving on floor looms was brought to Uganda in the 1970s from Europe. Large 4 harness looms are found throughout Uganda, producing beautifully woven cottons and fibers that create complex surfaces and cloths.

     

    All woven patterns have been developed by Mekeka Designs using only indigenous fibers and materials in the weft

  • JUST LAUNCHED!

  • Stockists

    USA

    Rush House, California and Mississippi
     
    Stick and Ball, California

    Australia

    The Voyage Home, Melbourne

    New Zealand

    Ruthven and Co., Queensland

  • Lesli Robertson launched Mekeka Designs in 2018 in an effort to focus on the beauty of handcrafted legacy textiles from Uganda. The story of how this textile studio came about began in 2005, when Lesli began co-leading numerous research and education projects with Ugandan colleagues focused on traditional craft practices.

     

    When Lesli decided to step away from higher education to launch Mekeka Designs, she once again began working with Fred Mutebi along with cultural experts Josephine Mukasa and Pamela Kyagera. With a long list of accolades and experience in the artisan sector, Josephine and Pamela are deeply rooted in the knowledge of materials, techniques, and makers throughout Uganda. Through their expertise and Lesli’s textile background, they have been working alongside individuals, weaving studios, and co-operatives throughout Uganda to collectively merge their knowledge of material, technique, and design into new approaches to traditional craft practices.

    CONTACT us for more information on our products, what is possible, or to request a sample!

  • TRACE YOUR BARKCLOTH

    Meet the remarkable makers of this 700 year old tradition and dive into the amazing ecosystem surrounding the Mutuba tree of Uganda

    What an honor to work with masters of a 700 year old craft. Think about the history in each piece...
    I love how each tree is unique - many of different sub-species of the mutuba (ficus natalensis)....
    We are excited that every pouch we made this season came from our adopted trees! Just think -...
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